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Don't Stereotype Darwin Doubters and ID Proponents

It fascinates me that people often assume that if you are an advocate of intelligent design --or even if you merely question Darwinism-- you must be a religious zealot of one stripe or another.

Today the Seattle Times published my letter responding to their editorial and recent coverage of the ID debate. I may be prejudiced but I don't think my letter makes me look like a "religious zealot." Right below it they published a letter asking:

Why is it that religious zealots who promote intelligent design as science imagine a God almighty so small that the mystery of his creation cannot encompass a mechanism as simple and elegant as Darwin's natural selection?
Look, it's absurd to think that all proponents of ID, or all the folks questioning the validity of Darwin's theory, are "religious zealots." This writer may not actually believe that, but recently there's been a constant refrain in the media and elsewhere that proponents of ID and Darwin doubters are "religious zealots" or "right-wingers" or "religious wackos" (just to pick a few of the phrases from unsolicited e-mail I've received recently). CSC associate director John West just had an op-ed published that points out that intelligent design theory is being hijacked and appropriated to further people's personal agendas -- religious and otherwise. To extrapolate from that that all supporters of ID are religious is just ridiculous. But, it happens all the time.

I am hardly a religious zealot. Much to my Mother's dismay I'm not religious at all. I pretty much agnostic, as are quite a few ID proponents and probably a greater number of people simply skeptical of Darwinism. I'm not anti-religious certainly, but rather I'd say I'm unreligious. Yet, I recognize the serious problems with Darwinian evolution and I think that the subject must be addressed and that science needs to be open to that kind of critical analysis. And I see ID as a serious scientific research program that should be further developed, further explored, and seriously discussed within the framework of scientific inquiry. Does that make me a "religious zealot"? Hardly.